2022 Juliana Roubion First Look: Ready for Trail Rumpus
Finding the right mountain bike is rarely easy. What type of suspension you need, the right build kit, the right handling attributes, the right paint scheme; everything ought to be considered, on top of price too. The newly-overhauled 2022 Juliana Roubion might not be the right bike for everyone, but its XS frame size, smart build kits, and new mixed wheel sizes might make this right mountain bike exactly what you’re looking for.
The Juliana Roubion shares its bones - wheel sizing, suspension design, and geometry - with the similarly updated Santa Cruz Bronson. We covered the nitty-gritty details of that update in our first look and we recommend taking a look at that for more information.Wait, 27.5" AND 29"?
Still, its worth an overview of what’s new with the Roubion, and most of it revolves around the introduction of what Juliana calls MX. MX indicates mixed wheel sizes, namely a 27.5-inch wheel out back mated to a 29-inch wheel up front. Why mixed wheels? When a bike is purpose-built as a mixed-wheel setup, Juliana claims that the Roubion has the snappiness of a 27.5-inch wheel you come to expect, just with the grip and stability through rock gardens of a 29-inch front wheel. There are lots of riders, particularly on the smaller end, who find themselves at a disadvantage when riding a 29-inch bike. Standover height is one issue, as most 29er mountain bikes simply cannot fit a shock and water bottle without compromising on standover height, at least a little bit. But those same riders are likely to benefit from a 29er - just like most other riders - due to the additional grip and rollover ability of a larger wheel. A mixed wheel size, at least according to Juliana, can combine both the low standover height of a 27.5 with the grip and confidence of a 29er.The Juliana Treatment
The Roubion gets the typical Juliana treatment elsewhere. Touch points - grips and saddle - are optimized for women. The unique suspension tune is similarly optimized for women. Besides that, you get everything you’d want: smart build kits at every price point, options for Reserve carbon wheel upgrades, and Juliana’s lifetime warranty on the frame and pivot bearings. Classic Juliana.
All sizes of Roubion can fit a water bottle internally. All come with well-thought-out protection for the chainstay, seatstay, bottom bracket, and downtube. And all feature a flip chip at the lower link shock to optimize your ride between pedal clearance and head/seat angles. It's a recipe for a plush yet playful bike that has only upped the fun and fast quotient.Conclusion
Riders looking for the improved grip and stability that comes with a 29er but wanted the playfulness of a 27.5-inch wheel will find a home in the Juliana Roubion, and it's sibling the Santa Cruz Bronson. Both are the just-right trail bike for those who love technical trails, just with a bit more mixed-wheel capability than before.
We are fortunate to have stock of the Juliana Roubion in stock now with more on the way for preorder. Contact us by phone or email, or stop by the shop to see Juliana bikes for yourself.
Words by Alvin Holbrook. Photos by Berin Klawiter.